Good news! After abandoning our apartment to the wrecking and repair crew for three days, our kitchen has been gutted, refitted, and reassembled. The new vinyl on the floor is a vast improvement over what was there before, and all the carpet was shampooed from the entryway to the dining room! Those pesky stains by the front door are finally gone and all the high-traffic areas look like new. The biggest improvement by far is that the sink is in perfect working order and doesn't smell like sewage. We're looking forward to cooking real food again.
Bad news. We can't move all our furniture back just yet because the new baseboard around the wall in the dining room hasn't been painted yet. We haven't heard anything about it, and I'd really rather not move all our stuff more often than necessary. I'd call the office and ask, but it's a long weekend and there's nobody home. Also, we're not sure whether or not they disconnected the refrigerator when they redid the floor, so all our food is suspect. In the meantime, when we went to finally load the dishwasher with all of our dusty dishes, we discovered it doesn't work. It seems to either be broken or disconnected from its power source. And, of course, it's the weekend and there's no maintenance people around to look at it. It will be hand-wash only for a few days, I guess. Good thing the sink is clean!
In other news, my four-year-old Mac laptop has been under the weather for the past few months. The battery case was starting to bulge out of the bottom, and the mouse pad had fritzed out. I'm rather attached to this laptop because it was a graduation present, and also because there's no way we can afford a new one like it just now. I had heard that although it is recommended to replace a bulging battery, far worse cases than mine had been seen functioning in the wild. My sister's four-year-old Mac had just suffered a fatal stroke, and mine had begun manifesting the same symptoms, so I didn't think investing in a new battery would be the most prudent choice under the circumstances. I resorted to a $15 external mouse to extend the useful life of my aging computer, expecting it to give up the ghost any day.
However, earlier this week the battery was bulging more than usual, and the safety concerns won out. I did some poking around online and discovered that not only is four years the common life span of a MacBook battery, but that a swollen battery is often the cause of mouse pad malfunction. Whodda thunkit? Resolved to buy a new battery, I found that Apple.com was selling them for $130 and Amazon.com for $50. For a few seconds I was a bargain shopper, but I've seen too many cautionary tales about cheap blackmarket counterfeits lately. I decided reliability was worth paying for. So far so good. The mouse pad made a complete recovery as soon as the new battery was installed. Here's hoping I can keep the laptop running long enough to get our money's worth.